Heriot Toun in spring

'Kirsty' Loch Fyne Skiff, built 1921 by John Fyfe at Ardmaleish Boatyard, Port Bannatyne, Isle of Bute.

2021:100 years afloat

Some facts, data and photos of Kirsty. Owned and cared for by ourselves, (Pat and Andy Law) since 1997, Kirsty is the hub and catalyst of many of Pat's arts projects.

The Loch Fyne skiff was the last evolutionary stage in the era of sailing boats in the Clyde area, prior to the advent of motorisation in the first decades of the twentieth century. Based on the lines of these fishing vessels, Kirsty was built in 1921 on the island of Bute to the designs of her original owner David Mowat who wanted a rugged no-nonsense family cruising boat in which to cruise the Western isles. Built with the sturdy construction of pitch pine on grown oak frames, the result is a safe, comfortable and seakindly boat especially suited to our northern waters. She is 37 ft. long plus bowsprit, a gaff rigged ketch and weighs in the region of 15 tonnes.

Down below is as cosy and welcoming a saloon as you could wish to inhabit. Wooden clad saloon with leather covered settees and a solid fuel stove, this is the perfect for coorying-in on dreich days. A spacious and delightful foc'sle sleeps two on comfy bunks.

Kirsty remained in Scotland until 1955 when she was sold to a flight lieutenant in the Royal Airforce and moved to the south of England. After several other owners we brought her back from Falmouth to the Oban area in 1997.

When we bought Kirsty we inherited a box of historical goodies thanks to her past owners who carefully kept the register of owners, magazine and newspaper clippings, letters, bill of sales and photographs that were associated with the boat. 

Included is a letter written by an elderly lady (Jean Hunter) - a member of the family of Fyfes who owned the boatyard where Kirsty was built. She wrote the letter from a nursing home in Bute to the then owners in the eighties - Peter and Fran Flutter, reminiscing about the days when Kirsty was under construction. She watched the launch in 1921 and was aboard during her maiden voyage. When Fran and Peter Flutter (who lived aboard Kirsty for 25 years) sailed to Bute to visit the boatyard in the 80's, Jean Hunter was sadly unaware of this event and missed the visit. She never saw the boat again. We're sure she would be pleased though to hear that Kirsty is still well cared for and back sailing in home waters.

In 2001 we (ie us, the dog and the boat!) were part of the film To End All Wars, starring Robert Carlyle and Keiran McMenamin. We spent all day sailing back and forth at the south of Mull and  and appear in the film for about 20 seconds at the beginning! The hull had to be painted white for the film and the boat given the name Setia Berganti. Andy had to dress up in a double breasted jacket and wool cap, but our dog, Tess was allowed to be herself! You can can read more about the film here 

Kirsty is registered with National Historic Ships: https://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/register/1590/kirsty

Only a few L. Fyne skiffs survive today.

Further reading: 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ring-net-Fishermen-Angus-Martin/dp/0859764435  http://www.houseoflochar.com/books/mar_scot_herring.htm


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